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  • How can we develop and improve online safety policies? Open or Close

    Creating an online safety policy? Where do you start? 

    Based on national policy and best practice, the SWGfL template online safety policy outlines what should be included, provides advice narration and outlines areas (with multiple choice statements) that each school or organisation should challenge, consider and debate. The result will be your very own online safety policy that is built on foundation blocks, but includes content that makes it unique and relevant for your school or organisation. 

  • How can we implement a progressive online safety curriculum? Open or Close

    It can be challenging for educators to develop their own progressive online safety curriculum, but there are programmes of work that can help.

    Common Sense Media in the United States has produced a programme which we believe provides a sound basis to embed online safety within the UK school curriculum, from Foundation Stage to Key Stage 5.

    To support schools in the UK, SWGfL has adapted the Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum, including a series of documents which will signpost schools to the relevant Common Sense Media lesson plans, resources and to additional relevant materials from the UK, Europe and elsewhere.

    You can also check Online Safety in the Computing Curriculum for guidance on how to meet the requirements of the national curriculm. 

  • How can we assess our online safeguarding practices? Open or Close

    The following tools have been created to help review your current practice, identify gaps, and better meet the needs of the children and staff you work with.

    360 degree safe - free self-review tool for schools

    The South West Grid for Learning provide a free online tool, 360 degree safe, which allows you to evaluate your school’s online safety provision and strategy. The tool is simple to use, and generates a report of what you need to do and how it should be done. It puts your work in protecting the pupils and students in your school into context, so that you can present your current position to your best advantage when Ofsted come calling. Best of all it is totally free! 

    360 Data - Free self-review tool for schools 

    The South West Grid for Learning also provide a free online tool, 360 degree data, which is designed to help organisations test and improve their data protection policies and practices. During your review, you will be able to generate reports with a list of improvement actions to help you move forward with your organisation's data security. All the resources required to enact those recommendations is included in the tool. Best of all it is totally free! 

    Online compass - free self-review tool for any children's setting

    Are you unsure about the use of mobile phones in your workplace? What about portable devices? Are you looking for information to help your organisation educate the young people in its care when adults are not there to protect them? Online Compass is a free online tool from the UK Safer Internet Centre to help ensure that safeguarding extends to the online spaces that children, staff and volunteers occupy. It will help you to put policies in place for any children's setting and measure the progress and difference being made.

  • How can we prepare for Ofsted inspections? Open or Close

    Since 2012, Ofsted have been assessing online safety provision in schools. Details of how online safety is inspected as part of safeguarding from September 2015 onwards can be found in the 'Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings' guidance. A useful guide to where online safety is mentioned in this guidance can be found here.

    During an inspection, Ofsted will be on the look out for how the school protects and educates staff and pupils in its use of technology, and what measures the school has in place to intervene and support should a particular issue arise.

    Under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, schools also have a duty to have due regard to the need to prevent both children and adults from being drawn into terrorism. This includes consideration of online safety and the influence of social media and websites. Full guidance of the Prevent duty is available here.

    From 5 Spetmeber 2016, schools and colleges are required to use the revised 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' guidance. This sets out what schools must do in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of childen and young people under 18. As part of this, there is a requirement to ensure appropriate filtering and monitoring are in place. The UK Safer Internet Centre have produced a guide to help schools meet this.

Need more help with online safety policy and best practice?

The Professionals Online Safety Helpline can provide you with further support.